Troubleshooting Services With 'systemctl'

To view a description of all the active, loaded units, execute the systemctl command without any options or arguments:


To see all the loaded, active, and inactive units and their description, run this command:

systemctl --all

To see all the unit files and their current status but no description, run this command:

systemctl list-unit-files

The grep command filters the services by a search term, a helpful tactic to recall the exact name of a unit file without looking through a long list of names. Example:

systemctl list-unit-files | grep network
org.freedesktop.network1.busname           static
dbus-org.freedesktop.network1.service      enabled
systemd-networkd-wait-online.service       enabled
systemd-networkd.service                   enabled
systemd-networkd.socket                    enabled                      static                         static  

For example, to list all the services that you can manage on Photon OS, you run the following command instead of ls /etc/rc.d/init.d/:

systemctl list-unit-files --type=service

Similarly, to check whether the sshd service is enabled, on Photon OS you run the following command instead of chkconfig sshd:

systemctl is-enabled sshd

The chkconfig --list command that shows which services are enabled for which runlevel on a SysVinit computer becomes substantially different on Photon OS because there are no runlevels, only targets:

ls /etc/systemd/system/*.wants

You can also display similar information with the following command:

systemctl list-unit-files --type=service

The following is list of some of the systemd commands that take the place of SysVinit commands on Photon OS:

systemctl start sshd 		service sshd start
systemctl stop sshd 		service sshd stop
systemctl restart sshd 		service sshd restart
systemctl reload sshd 		service sshd reload
systemctl condrestart sshd 	service sshd condrestart
systemctl status sshd 		service sshd status
systemctl enable sshd 		chkconfig sshd on
systemctl disable sshd 		chkconfig sshd off
systemctl daemon-reload		chkconfig sshd --add
Last modified March 5, 2021: setting up github actions (3f54ed117)